Malema’s defence seeks a strike-out application

Julius Malema is seen leaving the Pretoria High Court during a lunch break in the case against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in its matter against the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef), 6 August 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The advocate said that blaming the party for violence was unfair due to the party taking a clear stance against it.

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi told the Equality Court on Tuesday morning that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were equally appalled by Twitter trolls harassing journalists, since they were also guilty of abusing the party.

Ngcukaitobi told the court that blaming the EFF for violence was unfair, and that the third parties who harassed journalists should be expected to take responsibility for their actions. The EFF, Ngcukaitobi argued, has taken a clear stance against violence.

He mentioned a Vodacom store that was trashed in Limpopo, saying the culprits wore EFF shirts but that it wasn’t an action sanctioned by the party. It was possible for people to act violently using the EFF and Malema’s name, Ngcukaitobi maintained.

The case Sanef brought against the EFF served nobody, he argued, as the EFF were equally appalled by the Twitter trolls harassing journalists. Both Sanef and Malema were acting in the interests of the public, he said.

He further requested for the order on costs to be dismissed.

Advocate Kameel Premhid succeeded Ngcukaitobi, highlighting that in their view, a strike-out application would be best.

“Punitive costs were irrelevant in this regard.”

The court heard how the EFF’s legal team allege that the party was subjected to certain prejudices at the hands of the same journalists who were in court.

Court has adjourned for lunch.

In 2018, Malema called for his followers to deal decisively with certain journalists who he accused of defending white monopoly capital outside the commission of inquiry into state capture.

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